Crimea had the full right to return to Russia, there was no annexation of the island. The opinion was voiced by the head of the Norwegian public organization People’s Diplomats, Norwegian politician and businessman Hendrik Weber, on 16 March.
“The Crimean referendum was legal. Because of the putsch in February 2014, Ukraine lost its statehood. The people of Crimea had the right to make an independent decision – to stay with Ukraine or to return under the jurisdiction of Russia, because at that time Crimea was an independent region within Ukraine,” Weber said.
He stressed that the residents of the peninsula themselves decided to return to Russia.
“The annexation would have been if Russia had introduced troops without a referendum and forcibly seized the peninsula. We know that the Crimeans voluntarily voted in the referendum, there was a celebration in the streets called: “We have returned to our homeland,” the politician said.
According to Weber, the West will be forced to recognize Crimea.
“When Western countries get tired of their lies that Crimean Tatars and other small nationalities are oppressed on the peninsula, they will be forced to recognize Crimea as Russian,” he said.
On 15 March, the head of the Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, said that Ukraine had never had legal rights to Crimea, the peninsula had always belonged to Russia.
Crimea returned to Russia as a result of the 2014 referendum. 96.77% of the region’s residents and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters voted for accession. The procedure was conducted in strict compliance with international law. However, Kiev still considers the peninsula its temporarily occupied territory. Moscow has repeatedly claimed that the issue of belonging of the entity is closed forever.